I totally appreciate being given zucchini and summer squash (have you SEEN the prices they put on these weed vegetables in the stores?). They are healthy, but have so little flavor on their own and need to be coaxed to life with seasonings or new ways to prepare them. I wanted a squash stir fry to go with our butter basted cod and decided to experiment.
Usually I have a vague idea of what I want my experimental dish to taste like when it’s done. This time I was imagining caramelized onions and sweet red bell pepper bits mixed in with slices of summer squash and zucchini. I wanted some browning of the squashes, and the taste of butter. That’s all I asked for in my mental creation and I think I did a pretty good job of reproducing it!
I started by finely dicing an onion and a sweet red bell pepper and placing them in a nonstick skillet with 3 tablespoons of butter and one of olive oil. The oil prevents the butter from burning. When they had sautéed for 3-4 minutes I had my squashes sliced and added them to the skillet. I added half a teaspoon of minced garlic that I buy in jars, some salt and pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.
(I seem to add a pinch of cayenne to so many dishes my blog should be renamed “Pinch My Cayenne”. Moment of laughter… a search shows that domain is still available. Hm. Ok, back to serious cooking.)
I stirred the skillet occasionally for the next 5 minutes. I was watching to make sure most of the slices ended up doing some time on the bottom, near the heat. I wanted them to have a little brown on them as well and they needed to be on the bottom to achieve that. I should have used a larger skillet but the cod I was sautéing on another burner was using my large skillet.
I’m sorry to say I lost track of how long I fried the squash, but maybe 10 minutes? You’d just need to eyeball it. When the squash is as browned as you like, it’s done, right? I tasted for seasoning, adding a little more salt, and served the squash up with the cod.
Oh my, this was what I was thinking of, definitely. The caramelized, darker bits of onion and red pepper were sticking all over the fried squash. Every mouthful had wonderful flavors. I might fry the squash even longer next time for more brownness. I’d had to stop this time because my cod was done and would have been rubber if it had to wait longer.
But this is a great way to add flavor to squash. The buttery goodness of the squash and the sticky bits was scrumptious. I was so carried away forking it into my mouth bite after bite I almost forgot to eat my butter basted cod! That was also awesome, and is posted separately. And the good part is that it wasn’t much work. I only had to walk over and flip them a few times as they fried to achieve a form of squash perfection. A keeper recipe!
Buttery Stir Fry of Zucchini and Summer Squash
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup onion; finely diced
½ cup sweet red bell pepper; finely diced
Zucchini and yellow summer squash (I used about 14 thin slices of each for 2 of us)
½ teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Melt butter and oil in skillet on medium heat. Add onions and red peppers and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add sliced zucchini and summer squash and sauté another 10 minutes or so. Turn often, making sure all pieces are getting browned on the bottom of the pan. Fry until desired brownness. Serve hot.